Besides the stain from dyes within the drink, a soda spill on carpet can cause double the trouble if not treated immediately. The sticky syrup that sweetens the drink collects dirt if not cleaned up and it may even attract ants drawn to the sugary substance. In most cases, household materials ranging from dish soap to white vinegar can remove all traces of soda from the carpet without harsh chemical-based cleaners. Test any cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area first to ensure they do not discolor the carpet.
Blot the Beverage Spill
Blot up as much of the soda as possible while it is still wet to help prevent the liquid from soaking through to the carpet pad. Blot with stacks of folded paper towels or with a folded absorbent white cloth, replacing the paper or cloth as it becomes soaked. Do not rub or scrub the wet carpet at this point, as that may force the spill deeper into the carpet fibers. Instead, once most of the liquid has been absorbed, press down or stand upon yet another dry paper towel or white cloth atop the spill to pull up some of the liquid that has traveled deeper into the carpet.
Acidic, Soapy Solution
White vinegar and liquid dish soap team up to remove soda stains and residue from carpet fibers. Mix one tablespoon each of vinegar and dish soap into two cups of warm water. Dab the solution over the soda spill after blotting up as much soda as possible with a white absorbent cloth. After 15 minutes or so, pat the area dry with another white cloth. If the stain is still visible, mix one part vinegar with two parts lukewarm water, dip a white cloth into it and place the cloth atop the stain. Set a heavy object atop it such as a glass baking dish, removing it after 15 minutes. Wipe the area dry with another dry white cloth, working from the outer edges of the spill area toward its center.
Fight Stains With Club Soda
Club soda's minerals and carbonation pack a punch when it comes to removing some beverage dyes from carpet, such as red or orange sodas. Pour a small amount of club soda directly over the stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Blot the area with a dry white cloth. Apply another club-soda treatment if necessary, blotting it up as well. If the color from the original soft-drink spill still isn't gone, squirt a small amount of lemon juice over the area -- wait a few minutes -- then rinse with cool water by dabbing the area with a damp white cloth. Wipe from the outer edges of the affected carpeting toward the center to avoid spreading the stain.
Loosen Grape Soda's Grip
Dark pigments such as the purple in a grape soda may require a different technique to remove the color completely. Try gentle methods such as club soda first. If club soda doesn't remove the stain, pour lemon juice atop the grape spot, and then blot the lemon juice after a minute or two. If the pop stain remains, apply a little more lemon juice and brush the stain with a soft scrub brush, working from the outside of the stain towards the center. Blot the lemon juice up once again, then treat the stain with white vinegar. Blot up the vinegar after a minute or two, then wipe with a damp white cloth.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.